Acacia vs walnut, which is superior?
Both acacia and walnut are popular types of natural wood used to make furniture. But sometimes, it’s best to use one over the other.
But that’s not to say some exquisite American black walnut doesn’t offer a naturally fine texture.
In this post, you’ll learn all about both of these types of natural wood and the benefits of each light-colored wood for furniture creation.
Acacia Trees vs Walnut Trees
Acacia Tree Information
If you’re familiar with Minecraft, acacia wood is the reddish-brown material used to build. But in the real world, these light brown trees offer a hard wood material that’s more impressive than most common domestic woods.
The acacia tree comes in various shapes and sizes. With many species available, the timber can vary in size, shape, and wood grain pattern. And it’s all incredible for acacia dining table construction!
All varieties of Acacia have several features in common. Acacia is a member of the legumes family. The distinctive acacia seeds are pods like peas and other legumes develop are shared by this family.
Acacia Tree Species
Acacia Mangium, one of many species of acacia that’s native to northeastern Queensland, have many tiny oval leaves along with their “leaflets.” This gives them the look of a double-sided comb. But the wood is particularly magnificent and is commonly used in joined edge construction.
The majority of acacia are fast-growing trees that generate a lot of timber quickly. Some of the acacia wood species include the following:
Red acacia was used in the construction of Egyptian coffins, the Ark of the Covenant, and Noah’s Ark. It’s native to northern and western Africa where its wood is burned as incense to cure joint pain and prevent fever.
Koa from Hawaii has traditionally been used to make surfboards, bodyboards, dugout canoes, and musical instruments. Its natural water resistance has made this one of the higher priced hard woods.
Jamjuree Acacia wood is the Thai acacia wood that’s commonly used in making solid Acacia wood tables, chairs, benches, and other high-quality indoor furnishings.
Jamjuree Acacia wood is a genuine hard wood rich in its durability and strength. It’s relatively easy to work with, yet scores solid marks in terms of quality.
Other Acacia Species
Some other species of acacia include Acacia Melanoxylon and Babul. These look similar, with light amber and beautiful exotic grain patterns.
They also have similar rankings on the Janka Hardness Rating scale and are commonly used as acacia flooring. And while an acacia floor isn’t always super common, the aesthetic this material offers is outstanding.
Acacias are well suited to arid and warm climates. As a result, they may be found throughout Australia, South Africa, the southwestern United States, Central America and Asia. Unlike other woods, many countries have begun exporting acacia for indoor and outdoor furniture.
People choose to grow certain species of these trees for their beautiful golden flowers. Invasive varieties have arisen as a result of their great diversity and rapid growth.
But from the woodworking industry perspective, we love these hard woods because they offer impressive grain patterns, unlike bamboo.
Acacia Grain Patterns
Depending on the varieties, acacias can be straight-grained or wavy. They take a nice polish with a little mineral oil and finish well.
Some companies use acacia for end grain butcher block and cutting board butcher blocks. While traditional hard woods are more affordable, the way acacia wood strips complement one another with the dark and light checkered or styled look goes beyond what’s offered by classic hard woods.
But on another note, there’s an abundant supply of acacia wood with stunning golden highlights. This is the hardwood we love to work with and use for our dining table and coffee table collections.
Walnut Tree Information
The walnut tree is a big deciduous nut-bearing tree that belongs to the hardwood family. This wood species has a dark color and rich hue, making it perfect for furniture production.
Walnut belongs to a hardwood tree family native to North America. They were formerly plentiful, but they are increasingly difficult to find.
Walnut Tree Size
Walnut trees can live for more than 100 years and take decades to mature. They don’t mature as fast as acacia, making acacia the sustainable alternative.
Walnut trees may reach a height of more than 100 feet and a diameter of 30 to 40 inches when fully grown. But acacia trees also reach impressive heights, allowing us to craft stunningly massive acacia wood dining tables.
The majority of high-quality walnut trees are found in the American Midwest, such as Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana. Most people know walnut in its darkest condition, which may be a dark chocolate or coffee color. But English walnut is also quite popular.
However, only the hearts of the English walnut tree and other walnut species have truly dark hues. The heartwood is located at the center of the tree and is characterized by deep browns, purples, grays, or reddish tones.
The sapwood where nutrition flows through the tree is lighter in color, ranging from white to pale yellow. Thus, this wood offers an impressive aesthetic that’s highly desirable to some.
Walnut Wood Density
Walnut trees also contain a very dense, strong timber that has a high weight capacity. the wood’s strength, durability, and density make it an ideal choice for furniture frame construction. It can last decades without major repairs.
Walnut will actually lighten slightly over time. This is a result of exposure to light, which alters the wood’s pigment. But the wood can be stained with an oil finish to darken its colors without damaging the wood.
Acacia vs Walnut: Which is Better?
Here’s a bit more about each wood’s characteristics and what makes them prized wood to craftsmen globally.
Acacia Wood Properties
Acacia worldwide is quickly becoming one of the most popular woods on the planet. Whether for cutting boards, dining room tables, or something else, this genuine hardwood rich in natural oils is a very nice material.
Highly Durable Acacia
Acacia wood is perhaps best known for its durability and resistance to decay. The protective oils found in the acacia tree’s bark seal the wood after it has been cut, preventing rot and giving acacia wood excellent properties for use in furniture.
Acacia wood is naturally harder than most other woods found on the market. This means it can be sanded to a smoother finish, which makes it great for creating smooth surfaces like cutting boards or dining tables.
The Janka hardness of acacia wood is 1700, as opposed to walnut’s 1100. This is why acacia wood is so long-lasting and tough.
Acacia Polishes Nicely
Acacia wood polishes beautifully, so you can take off small scratches and scuffs with ease. This makes acacia wood perfect for furniture like dining tables or coffee tables which get plenty of use.
If you have kids or pets, this is especially beneficial. All you need is a nice polishing and a bit of wood wax to fix wood countertops and tabletops with ease.
Exotic Wood Grain
Acacia wood grain is especially fantastic. This exotic hardwood has a very unique grain pattern that looks absolutely incredible.
Acacia trees grow with tight lines and durability, giving the wood some interesting lines and wrinkles. These wrinkles make acacia an exotic wood with plenty of character to it, making it great for both traditional and modern furniture pieces.
Acacia Wood Furniture
Acacia wood furniture looks exotic and natural, and its durability ensures it will last a lifetime. Whether you’re in need of a new dining room table, coffee table, or want to add some extra furniture pieces to your living room, acacia wood can work for you.
It’s resistant to rot, scratching, water damage so it works well both indoors and out. And it’s termite resistant as well, so you don’t have to worry about those destructive pests ruining your furniture!
Walnut Wood Characteristics
Black walnut is dark, hard, dense, and tight-grained. It’s prized by woodworkers for its strength, grain, and color.
Walnut also polishes to a very smooth finish, and the color ranges from creamy white in the sapwood to dark chocolate in the heartwood.
Here are some of the other key features you can expect when you choose black walnut.
Dense & Shock Resistant
Walnut is very strong and dense. It’s able to withstand wear and tear and gives your furniture a long-lasting life.
Black walnut is extremely durable, making it great for any furniture piece. It resists rot and water damage with ease. No matter how much humidity is in your living room or kitchen, your furniture won’t warp or get ruined.
It has a Janka score of 1100. This is higher than that of cherry but lower than that of oak and acacia. Thus, walnut is harder than cherry wood but softer than oak trees so you can expect your walnut furniture to last for many years.
Walnut Finishes Well
Walnut finishes beautifully, giving it a smooth, polished look. This makes it perfect for dining room tables, countertops, bedside tables, and coffee or end tables.
After polishing, walnut furniture gives off a nice shine. It’s also resistant to scratching, making it an ideal material for kids or pets who might wear on your furniture.
Unique & Tight Grain
Black walnut has a unique grain pattern that enhances the wood’s natural beauty. This makes it great for traditional and contemporary styles, ensuring your furniture will be both gorgeous and durable.
Walnut’s grain pattern varies, but the most common species is known as “Birdseye,” because it has distinctive eyes in its grain.
Walnut Wood Furniture
Choosing walnut wood furniture will give your furniture a classic, traditional look. It’s also extremely durable and will last you for many years to come. This makes it ideal for both home decor and office furnishings.
It resists water damage, scratches, and decay so that no matter what your living conditions are like or how much use your furniture gets, your choice of wood won’t warp or degrade.
Walnut is a beautiful traditional hardwood. With good maintenance and care, you can be sure it will look lovely for many years to come.
Acacia & Walnut Wood Summarized
Acacia and walnut are both types of wood that work great for indoor furniture. Walnut often has a darker color and richer tone while acacia can be found in lighter tones, yet still beautiful.
Both acacia and walnut are sturdy and durable. However, acacia sees a higher volume in the market due to its unique exotic grain pattern.
Acacia has a lighter color which makes it easier to match the decor. And the acacia pieces tend to be cheaper than walnut pieces, which allows them to be made into a quality edge grain board more easily.
Acacia is also less difficult to maintain than walnut. Thus, it’s ideal for families with children or pets.
The other primary distinction between the two types of wood is how they look as they age. Depending on your location, walnut may fade over time while acacia color will remain constant.
If you loved this article, you’ll probably love our other posts comparing acacia to other common hardwoods. Feel free to give our Acacia vs Sheesham Wood a read, too!